Atolia is a ghost town and tungsten mine located in the Mojave Desert in northwestern San Bernardino County, California. The town is located just off the scenic 395 highway near Randsberg, California.
The town’s named was created from the combination for two mining company officials, Atkins and DeGolia, The site started as a tungsten mine in 1905. The town peaked around the time of World War II, when it is known as the largest producer of tungsten in the world. Despite this honor growth is hindered and the town is overshadowed by towns producing more glamorous metals such as gold and siler. Tungsten is a common component used to harden steel alloys. Prior to World War II, Germany is one of Atolia’s largest customers, when their trade access is severed with the formation of British Blockades.
Not to be outdone, the Germans developed cargo submarines known as U-Boats to run the blockade. On July 9th, 1916 the German U-Boat “Deutschland” arrived in Baltimore, Maryland to be loaded with tungsten from Atolia. The town reached a population of 2,000 people during World War I. Following the great war, demand for tungsten plummeted along with its price. The price dropped caused the tungsten mines for close.
There was a brief resurgence in Atolia during World War II, when demand for hardened steel opened the mines again for a brief moment in time.
Atolia Town Map
|Location||Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, California|
|Post Office||1906 – 1922, 1927 – 1944|